Apple is a company that for some, is more like a fandom. And hey, that’s cool. We’re not judging anyone for freely spending their hard earned cash on whatever techy bits they want to. But like many large global companies, they have some practices that, if they were more widely known or talked about, could tarnish their carefully crafted image. Apple is in NO WAY any worse than any other random tech company you may choose when it comes to most of these things, but people choose to see them as somehow better than, you know, the other guys. Here are 25 Shocking Apple Secrets.
It's pretty well documented that Apple has used slave labor to build their products. They can't really compromise on the components of their products, so, y'know, cut back on the labor. So what if a few people commit suicide after working around the clock in terrible conditions with impossible quotas. LOOK AT MY NEW iPHONE! As recently as 2016, China Labor Watch reported issues with factories that produce Apple products.
Shockingly, a company that is willing to continue with companies that have had labor violations isn't as worried about it's carbon footprint as their marketing and fanbase would lead you to believe. For example, in 2014, Apple actually faced pollution charges in China. Apparently, they make messes, just...not in the US.
Apple knows that AppleMaps was less than stellar when it came out and is arguably less than stellar now. They know. Oh...they know.
Fun story: You could tell who was using Apple Maps and who was using an other service while evacuating from Hurricane Irma. The people not using Apple Maps were the ones getting off at exits and taking backroads at points to avoid traffic updates that Apple maps…didn’t get. Aw, so sad.
Apple is pretty darn serious about their top secret projects and prototypes. They supposedly have a "secret police" (read: Security Team) to protect their secrets from the public and employees without top secret clearance. There's a rumor that they've even impersonated San Francisco Police in order to "raid" a house where it was thought an employee had stashed prototypes. Neither we nor the internet can confirm or deny such a thing happened.
You can buy refurbished stuff directly from Apple WITH THE SAME ONE YEAR WARRANTY AS BRAND NEW STUFF. So it's a heck of a lot cheaper. Like buying a certified used car. They're usually just open box items that returned before being used, not ones that were defective.
Some Apple product manufactures have reported that the processes involved in making iPhones are giving people cancer. Um....
You should document all interactions with customer service representatives and get a card from any "Apple Genius" you talk to in store. People say and promise a lot of things, so document it so you have backup later on in case you get a different answer from someone else.
Apple avoids paying taxes. You know how people complain that we need to raise taxes on the "rich"? It would be neat if we could just start making Apple and companies like them pay taxes in the first place. Most of the their products are sold in the US. However, they're made overseas for cheap with labor practices that would be Illegal in the US, and they owe back taxes in Europe,as of 2016. Like 14 BILLION dollars in back taxes in Ireland. It's a long, complicated story. If you want to fall down the rabbit hole of Apple's tax avoidance on the internet, you can. But let's just sum it up by saying that when it comes to taxes, Apple is quite shady.
When they do a data migration, they see your pictures. If you've taken pictures of your manhood or lady lumps, they've seen them. The pictures flash on screen as the import into iPhoto. Guys, migrate that stuff yourself or save it yourself. No poor retail tech peon deserves to have unasked for nudity in their face.
The last truly innovative product Apple put out was in 2007, and that was the iPhone. Everything since then has been a newer version of old things, or a slightly different version of an iPhone. Like one that fits on your wrist. Compared to how much the iPod and iPhone changed our daily lives, these are huge innovations.
For years, Apple used a mineral in its phones called Colton (or columbite-tantalite), which was mined in the war-torn Congo. It doesn't now, thankfully, but they are (and historically have been) very secretive about their supply chain. You know about Blood Diamonds? Well Apple brought us Blood Phones.
As long as you aren't rude, crude, or stinky, you can hang out in the Apple Store and play on their computers all day. They aren't going to make you leave.
Apple sued Samsung claiming that Samsung had stolen the "look and feel" (aka “trade dress”) of the iPhone because, you know...square icons, and slide to unlock. The move was basically to see if they could bully other companies out of money. Apple won. Samsung appealed. Apple lost.
Apple spent more in the US to market the iPad ($149 million) than it did to market the original iPhone (only $97 million).
Despite the hype of superior products and workmanship (and price tag to go with the hype), Apple products, just like any other product, can have both design and manufacturing defects. If you notice something is weird or off with your Apple device, plug that weirdness into the google machine and see if others are experiencing it. If you've found a legit defect, bring it to the attention of Apple.
Many people - even those in Apple's loyal fanbase - believe that Apple makes products that are designed to wear out or need replacement around the time a newer version of that product is released. This is called Planned Obsolescence, or built-in obsolescence. Basically, a company makes a product, and instead of making one to last as long as humanly possible, they make it to last...long enough. Whatever they determine long enough to be. And if Apple does knowingly do it, they're far from the only company that does.
This isn't an Apple secret. This isn't even a tech secret. This is just slightly deceptive marketing and a basic tech truth that EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW: The "Cloud" is just someone else's computer(s). That's it. That's your magical backup. It's a server, somewhere, with a copy of your data on it that you can retrieve should nefarious things happen to your device. That's it. You can set up your own offsite server backup if you want, and pay someone else to maintain the server. Lots of nerdy nerdy people do this.
Apple stores don't put security devices on their items. But they do watch you like a hawk. It's very brave and shows a lot of confidence in their staff.
At one point, there was an 8-sided iPhone prototype. But no D20 shaped device? Lame. You could call it the iJewel. Not a pyramid though. It's been done before.
You can (possibly) get your item replace for free if you know how to ask. Basically, it breaks down this way: if there's a known defect, say you've started noticing the known defect, and ask for a replacement. Completely ignore the fact that your phone has an utterly shattered screen or was dropped in the pool. This may actually work for you.
Apple Store employees can't directly tell you no. They CAN refuse to help, but they can't do it by flat out saying no. So the conversations can just go in awkward circles for awhile. That sounds both amusing and frustrating.
You don't really need to buy AppleCare until the end of your first year. Anything that would void the one year warranty would also void AppleCare, and AppleCare can be bought at any point in the first year you own the product; it does NOT have to be bought at time of purchase. So save your pennies and buy it on like...day 360.
You really shouldn't rush to buy the newest iPhone as soon as it comes out. Currently the model everyone is hyped for (or not really) is the iPhone X. The "hype" after the announcement was somewhat less enthusiastic than Apple had anticipated. All that jazz - and the whole face recognition to unlock nonsense - aside, you shouldn't buy a first generation, well, anything really. Unless you're rich or have desperate need. First gens always have bugs, issues, and kinks that get worked out in subsequent versions. Furthermore, electronics of ANY kind tend to get cheaper if you can just chill for year. TVs, computers, phones, everything. Unless you're really clocking that device, let's be honest, having the flashiest newest iPhone is about bragging rights and brand loyalty more than need, and when it comes to any first gen device, gone (for now) are the days of the first iPhone and iPods, which were truly revolutionary. Everyone has a computer with a camera in their pocket now. The more reasonable and fiscally responsible path is to just wait a little while.
There is supposedly a "no hire pact" between Apple and Google in Silicon Valley. This keeps the companies from "poaching" people from one company to another, which makes them sound like friendly corporate neighbors, until you realize it also keeps wages lower for those employees.
Apple Employees refer to the corporate HQ in Cupertino CA as "the Mothership." Without irony.
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Photos: 25. Robert Scoble via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 24. pexels (public domain), 23. iphonedigital via flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, 22. pixabay, 21. Jared C. Benedict, Macbook white redjar 20060603, CC BY-SA 3.0, 20. Destroyer of furries, Cancer-cell, CC BY-SA 4.0, 19. pixabay (public domain), 18. images money via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 17. pixabay (public domain), 16. Carl Berkeley from Riverside California, IPhone First Generation 8GB (3680455198), CC BY-SA 2.0, 15. Jon Gosier via mamacongo.blogspot.com, CC BY 2.0, 14. http://flickr.com/people/redjar/ Rotated by User:HereToHelp, Apple Store North Michigan Ave Chicago IL-2005-10-22 ROTATED, CC BY-SA 2.0, 13. siddartha Thota via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 12-11. pixabay (public domain), 10. wikimedia commons (public domain), 9. Horia Varlan via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 8. PieCrafted, Target Protection Specialist, CC BY-SA 4.0, 7-6. pixabay (public domain), 5. Grant Robertson via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 4. compudemano via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 3. pexels (public domain), 2. Robbie Shade via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 1. Fuzheado, P-Funk mothership at NMAAHC, CC BY-SA 4.0